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Full text of "History of Methodism in Davie County"

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|$ History of Methodism | 



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r D'AViF COUNTY, 



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1 *-Re:\,W. L. grissoioH 






OK TMJS 






I K. (^CONFERENCE, I 



GOKTA5NINC THE SUBSTANCE OF A LECTURE 1 



I 

DELIVERED BEFORE THE PUPILS OF A 

AUGUSTA SEMINARY. $ 




DUKE 
IVERSITY 




LIBRAPvY 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/historyofmethodigri 



History of Methodism 



IN DAVIE COUNTY. 



BY 



4-Re». W. L. Grissom.-fr 



OK THE 



N. G. CONFERENCE, 



CONTAINING THE SUBSTANCE OF A LECTURE 

DELIVERED BEFORE THE PUPILS OF 

AUGUSTA SEMINARY. 



Introductory. 

The following sketch of Methodism in Davie 
County was originally delivered as a lecture by 
the author, and is now published in an enlarged 
form at the request of this writer. Every Meth- 
odist in the county is brought under obliga- 
tions to Mr. Grissom for the great labor put 
forth in securing facts almost lost forever in 
the misty past, and for publishing them in so 
attractive a form as we now have them. Had 
a few more silver-haired, and golden-hearted 
brethren and sisters departed this life, much of 
what we now have as a permanent heritage 
would have been beyond the historian's pen to 
chronicle. Every Methodist who loves his church 
will rejoice at being able to place in his chil- 
dren's hands a faithful account of the story he 
heard his parents tell when only a boy 
about the old home church, and to let him read 
over the list of the laymen and preachers who 
have toiled to build up the cause of our Savior. 

Davie county is very historic, she has pro- 
duced many great men, and we are glad to note 
that our church has furnished her quota. Rev. 
Moses Beck, one of Methodism's grandest men, 
was a Davie county man. Rev. Peter Doub, 
I). I), was converted here. Rev. H. T. Hudson, 
1). D. was born here. Rev. Charles F. Deems D. 
1). was licened to preach and recommended to 
the annual conference by Smith Grove church. 

Rev. Dr. Frost was converted at the same 
place, and many others perhaps equally as use- 
ful if not so famous. 

God give to the church many sons yet wor- 
thy of the sires. 

P. L. Groom. 

Fm-mlno-fnn x : C Anril 2!)t'h. 18ft0. 



b 



' 



TJil rilSTOJRY OF METHODISM 

DAVIE COUNTY. 



The subject that 1 invite you to consider to- 
night is one that has had much to do with ev- 
ery moral a.nd religious interest connected with 
Davie county, that of the Rise and Progress of 
Methodism within its bounds. 

The spirit of Methodism is activity in build- 
ing up the right and suppressing the wrong. It 
entered this country by its itinerant system, 
with the early settlers. Hence Methodism has 
assisted in every development of this county, 
and therefore every citizen should be interested 
in its history. 

In presenting to you this sketch, you will dis- 
cover that it is incomplete and that some links 
do not appear in the chain. I have only two 
apologies to offer for this: 1st. The want of 
records and facts to cover those periods. 2nd. 
I have time to present in a lecture like this only 
a small part of the history of Davie county 
Methodism— a subject upon which a volume 
might be written. 

The origin of Methodism in this section dates 
back almost parallel with the beginning of 
Methodism in North Carolina. In 1776 the 
first circuit was established in this State, and 
was called the Carolina circuit. It war, not 



3. HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

long before the gospel, as preached by this new 
sect, spread out over the hill-country in the 
middle part of the State, and entered the beau- 
tiful valley of the Yadkin. For, as early as 
1780, the Yadkin circuit appears on the min- 
utes with Andrew Yeargin as preacher in 
charge. This circuit, though embracing all 
this part of the State, had only 11 members, 
two of whom were the father and mother of 
Rev. Peter Doub, of precious memory. Hence, 
Rev. Andrew Yeargin was one among the first 
Methodist preachers that ever entered this new 
field. At this time no well furnished par- 
sonage awaited his arrival— no warm hearted 
board of stewards to give him a welcome— 
and not even a church edifice in which to preach 
the gospel that fired his soul. His only preach- 
ing places were the private homes, school houses, 
barns and brush arbors. But. with all these 
drawbacks the work of the Lord prospered in 
his hands. For in 1783, just three years after 
the circuit was established, it was reported as 
having 348 members, an increase of 328 mem- 
bers. There is little known as to the ability of 
some of these early preachers; but judging from 
the results of their labors, they must have been 
endowed with power from on high. 

EARLY CHURCHES. 

As we have stated, there was no church build- 
ing in all this section when Andrew Yeargin 
was sent to this circuit. 

FarrniTim-nn. .-> . *.. u..^.-™ -, r . — , 1 — 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 4 

But Beal's meeting house was said to have 
been built during this year (1780,) and is there- 
fore the oldest Methodist Church in all this part 
of the State. It was located near Anderosn's 
Bridge in the Northwestern part of the county. 
Andrew Yeargin laid the foundation of many 
other churches in this section which was so 
sparsely settled at this period. • It is said that 
"the people were rude and almost as wild as 
the native deer." At Beal's church, tradition 
says, that as the preacher was closing a warm 
and moving sermon, he walked down into the 
congregation and laid his hand upon the head 
of an old man, saying: — "My friend, don't you 
want to go to heaven ?" To which the fright- 
ened man replied: "Man, for God's sake go off 
and let me alone; I don't live about here, I come 
from away up in the mountains." 

In 1795, at this same church, a quarterly 
meeting was held, and when the question was 
asked: "How much, of the preacher's salary 
has been paid?" the pastor, Charles Ledbetter, 
presented one pair of socks as the full amount 
up to that time. I suppose that no one at that 
day ever said that the preachers were preach- 
ing for money. 

Timber Ridge was the name of a school house C 
located rather between Olive Branch and Smith 
Grove, that was used by the Methodists for a. 
preaching place at a very early day, perhaps as 
early as 1780. Whitakcr's Church also claims 



5 HISTOBY OF METHODISM. 

to be the first. This church was located on the 
east side of Dutchman's Creek, just above 
Brown's Mill. There is an old graveyard there 
now, but nothing remains of that church except 
the foundation stones just south of the grave- 
yard. This seems to have been a flourishing- 
church for many years. Bishop Asbury preach- 
ed at this church on the second of April, 1794, 
on the subject of sanctification". And again on 
Sunday, Oct. 13th, 1799, he says he preached a 
short sermon at this place. 

Bethel Church, located about one mile east of 
Mocksville, is spoken of also as being one of the 
first preaching places in the county. But our 
society at this place was moved to Mocksville 
in 1833. Since that time the old church has 
been used by the Methodist Protestant Church. 
Before these rude houses of worship were built, 
the old pioneers, those heroic men who laid the 
foundation of Methodism in this country, 
did most of their preaching in the temple of na- 
ture. Dr. Hudson, in describing this temple 
says: ''Its roof was the blue firmanent, its 
floor the green earth swept by the winds — its 
lamp the radiant sun— its seats the rocks, 
stumps and logs. The voice of the preacher 
mingled with the tree songs of the birds, the 
splash of the rippling streams, and the neigh- 
ing of horses tied in the bushes, and the cries of 
penitent souls." 

In 1783, the Salisbury circuit was formed 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. b 

with 30 members, having for its pastor Beverly 
Allen, with Jas. Foster and Jas. Hinton assis- 
tants. The labors of these men were blessed in. 
the salvation of many souls during the year. 
For at the close of this year they reported to 
Conference 375 members, a net gain of 345. 
In 1784, this circuit had for its pastor the Rev. 
Jesse Lee, who beca me so eminent as one of the 
pioneers of Methodism in America-. In speak- 
ing of entering upon his work on the Salisbury 
circuit, he says: "In entering upon this field of 
labor he was greatly encouraged at meeting 
large congregations of anxious hearers at all of 
his appointments. Gracious influences attend- 
ed his preaching to the comfort oi believers and 
the awakening of sinners; his own soul was 
greatly blessed while striving to bless others." 
It will not be out of place to give a brief 
sketch of this eminent pioneer of Methodism in 
this country. Jesse Lee was born in Virginia 
oil the 12th of March, .1758. During his child- 
hood days he was surrounded by a great deal 
of spiritual darkness. But in 1774 he was con- 
verted under the ministry of Robert Williams, 
who introduced Methodism into Virginia and 
North Carolina. Mr. Lee preached his first ser- 
mon in N. C. on the 17th of Sept. 1779. In 
1780 he preached a powerful sermon near* the 
present city of Raleigh, which was said to be 
the first Methodist sermon ever preached in this 
vicinity. He began to travel as Asburv's as- 



i HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

sistant in 1797. He was sometimes very witty 
and he knew how to appreciate it in others. On 
one occasion he and some other preachers were 
traveling together, and they came up to a house 
about dinner time. It was harvest-time. The 
gentleman had several of his neighbors helping 
him reap that day, and a sumptuous dinner had 
been prepared. The preachers were seated at 
the table and did ample justice to the viands 
that were spread before them. When the har- 
vesters were seated at the table, there was dis- 
appointment in their faces. One of them, "a 
happy genious witn a dry graviry of demean- 
or," asked a blessing in these words: 
"Oh Lord look down on us poor sinners, 
For the preachers have come and eat up our din- 
ners." 

Some of the preachers did not know how to 
take it. But Lee appreciated the joke and 
laughed heartily. Mr. Lee wrote the first his- 
tory of Methodism in America. Some of his ser- 
mons were published and some of them were 
said to be very good. He was Chaplain to 
Congress three times. He laid the foundation 
of Methodism in New England. Traveled and 
preached from Canada to Georgia. He lived 
well and therefore died well. "His sun set 
without any sign of storm or cloud." His last 
words were, "Glory, glory, glory. Jesus 
reigns." 

HOPE HULL. 

Jesse Lee was succeeded the next year, 1785, 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 8 

by Hope Hull, this being his first year in the 
ministry. Tho' young, he did much to build up 
the circuit and to prepare the way for the 
preachers who were to follow. Dr. Coke said 
of him a year or two afterwards: "Mr. Hull is 
young, but is indeed a flame of fire." Lorenzo 
Dow, the great revivalist, was converted un- 
der his ministry. He was a man of great abili- 
ty. Asbury chose him as his traveling compan- 
ion in 1794, but before a year had passed his 
health gave way. He then became a christian 
teacher, and in that held of labor he did good 
service for the church. Under all circumstances 
he was ready to serve his Master. And he used 
ever} 7 opportunity to promote his Master's 
cause. It is said that on one occasion, while 
traveling through this country, he was, by way 
of fun-making, invited to a dance. He w r ent. 
And soon after he reached the place he was in- 
vited to dance. He took the floor, and when all 
were ready to begin, he remarked aloud: "I never 
engage in any kind of business without first 
asking the blessing of God upon it, so let us 
pray." Quick as thought the preacher was on 
his knees praying in the most earnest manner 
for the souls of the people, that God would 
open their eyes to their danger, and convefc 
them from the error of their ways. All present 
were amazed and overwhelmed; many fled in 
terror from the house, while others, feeling the 
power of God in their midst, began to plead for 



9 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

mercy and forgiveness. After this prayer he 
said: "On to-day four weeks I expect to 
preach at this house/' and quickly retired. On 
the appointed day the inhabitants for miles 
around were assembled, and heard one of (he 
most eloquent and powerful sermons that ever 
fell on human ears. From the work begun in a 
ball-room, a most powerful revival of religion 
extended in every direction, and many were ad- 
ded to the church., 

Hope Hull was a powerful preacher in his 
day. Dr. Lovick Pierce says of him: "In many 
of his masterly efforts his words rushed upon 
his audience like an avalanche, and multitudes 
seemed to be carried before him like the yield- 
ing captives of a stormed castle.'' 

This young preacher's eloquent voice was 
heard by attentive multitudes, here in the 
"Folks of the Yadkin," a little over a hundred 
years ago. lie inarched forth to battle for his 
Lord until Oct. 4th, 1818, when his warfare 
ended. He died in great peace, with this dying 
remark: "God has Uiid me under marching or- 
ders, and now 1 am ready to obey.'' 

Following these eminent pioneers, we find 
such men as Keubin Ellis and John Tunnel! 
preaching through this country with great, 
power and ability. Little is known as to the 
results of their labors, but knowing the history 
of the men, we feel sure that they accomplished 
much for the Master. Keubin Ellis was a na- 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 10 

tive of North Carolina and perhaps has some 
relatives in Davie county to-day. The Ellis 
family is one of the oldest in the county. A 
grave of a man by this name has been found in 
the upper edge of the county, on the Yadkin 
river, that is the oldest grave knoAvn in the 
county — dating back to 1752. 1 am inclined to 
believe that Reubin Ellis was a native of this 
county. He entered the itinerancy in 1777. 
He filled high positions in the chureh. "His 
preaching was weighty and powerful." He 
was bold and pious. And when he came to die, 
his character was so good and beautifnl that 
his brethren pronounced this eulogy: "It is 
doubtful whether there is one left in all the Con- 
nection higher, if equal, in standing, piety and 
usefulness." 

In reference to John Tmmell, Jesse Lee calls 
him a "great preacher;" Asbuiy calls him a 
"great saint." He was P. E. on this District in 
1788. His District embraced Tar river, Bladen, 
New river, Roanoke, Caswell, New Hope, Guil- 
ford, Salisbury, Yadkin and Halifax circuits. 
I mention this to show the large field he had to 
cultivate. John Tunnell was a very saintly 
character, and was one of the greatest pulpib 
orators of his day. Such men as these planted 
Methodism here about a hundred years ago. 

INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING. 

The educational advantages were -very poor 
at that day all through this eountrv. There 



11 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

were very few schools in existence, and especial- 
ly of a high grade. The only Methodist school 
in North Carolina at that early day, was that 
known as Cokesbury School, near Phelp's Fer- 
ry, on the Yadkin river. 

COKESHURY SCHOOL. 

This school was located on the farm now 
owued by Mr. W. A Bailey, the present sheriff of 
Davie county, and is said to be by some the 
first conference school ever projected in America. 
I have no proof to sustain that assertion. I 
have nothing to show that this school existed 
prior to 1793, while that of Cokesbury College 
in Maryland was established in 1785. However, 
I think we are safe in saying that this was the 
first conference school ever projected in North 
Carolina. 

There is no sign of any building there now, 
and consequently it would be hard to show 
definitely the exact spot where the school was 
located. Yet from a chain of circumstances, I 
think we can come in a few yards of where the 
old building stood. 

Bishop Asbury says in his Journal that it 
was at Hardy Jones'. It was my privilege 
some months ago to stand in the old cellar that 
was under Hardy Jones' house; the house has 
long since been removed. Now, according to 
Asbury's statement, the school was located 
near this spot. 

Again Asbury says : "If (the school house) 



HISTOliY OF METHODISM. 12 

stands on a beautiful eminence and overlooks 
the low-lands and river Yadkin.'' And in about 
one hundred yards of where Hardy Jones' 
house stood, there is an eminence from which 
a fine view of the Yadkin river and its fertile 
low-lands can be seen, exactly corresponding 
with Asbury's description. And upon this emi- 
nence there are many old graves, showing con- 
clusively that this elevated spot was used for a 
burying ground many years ago. 

When Asbury again visited this place in 1799, 
le says that the school building was then used 
'or a house of God. So we see that the school 
>vas short-lived. When they began to use the 
auilding for a meeting house, then they began 
:o bury their dead near by it, so this confirms 
ny belief that the Cokesbury school was loca- 
ed on this beautiful eminence near by this old 
>rave-yard. 

In 1793, James Parks was appointed by the 
onference to Cokesbury school. James Parks 
named Hardy Jones' daughter, and was per- 
mps the founder of this school. He was a very 
trong preacher as well as teacher. Jeremiah 
Sllis, who is still living, at a very old age, 
ibout two miles south of the location of this 
chool, says that he went with his father, who 
vas a local preacher, to Ward's camp-ground 
ibout the year 1812, and heard Parks preach 
wo wonderful sermons. They made such a 
eep impression upon his young heart thai he 



13 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

still remembers the texts. Jas. Parks moved to 
Jonesville and established a school there. He 
had four sons who became ministers. And it is 
said that Martin P. Parks became one of the 
most brilliant pulpit orators of the day. 

Perhaps it would be interesting to some to 
know the size of Cokesbury school building. We 
learn from Asbury that it was two stories high, 
20 feet square, and was well set in with doors 
and windows. Thus we have seen the rise and 
fall of the first Methodist school in all this 
country. May the many schools scattered 
along up and down the Yadkin river be worthy 
successors to the old school on the Yadkin that 
* prospered here a century ago ! 

On this beautiful eminence where T the Cokes-: 
bury school stood, now sleep in their last rest- 
ing places many of the early settlers who loca- 
ted here in this beautiful and fertile valley, while 
some old rugged cedars raise their evergreen 
bows above them, and the winds sweeping up 
and down this lovelv valley sing an eternal 
requiem to the sleeping dead 

This school was in operation just a hundred 
years ago, to enlighten that generation and to 
build up a high state of civilization. It ma}' 
have done much good. But after the lapse of a 
hundred years of teaching and preaching in this 
county, and with all of our boasted advantages 
of to-day, the site of old Cokesbury has almosl 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 11 

tion of learning dark volumes of smoke may be 
seen rising daily from one of the largest distil- 
leries in this section. Instead of an institution 
from which light and truth emanates and where 
young men are trained for the higher walk of 
life and the happiness of heaven; there is manu- 
factured that which degrades humanity and is 
the greatest foe to the church of God in Davie 
county to-day. 

MOCKSVILLE SCHOOL. 

There is an old brick building about 300 yards 
east of the court house in Mocks ville, that was 
at one time used as an academy. It was a very 
flourishing school for many years succeeding 
the year 1840. Kev. Baxter Clegg was the 
principal aud was a very useful and successful 
teacher. Out of this school went many of our 
most useful ministers, lawyers, physicians and 
citizens. We have had- several other good 
schools in the county from time to time, but so 
far as I know they have been undenomina- 
tional. 

In this county a great many of the Methodists 
have taken an active interest in this great 
movement of education, and many of them 
have educated their sons and daughters at 
Trinity and Greensboro. 

JAMES DOUTHIT. ) 

In 1799, James Douthit was on the Salisbury 
circuit. His father was born in Maryland, but 
settled on the Yadkin river in N. C. He became 



15 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

a member of the Methodist Church and was ap- 
pointed class leader, while his house became a 
a regular preaching* place. But after all this he 
took to strong drink and went back into sin. 
Yet the association with the preachers who 
came to his house, and their earnest preaching, 
had a good effect upon his two sons, James and 
Samuel, who afterwards became Methodist 
preachers. James Douthit was a man of con- 
siderable ability. He was P. E. on the Salis- 
isbury District in 1801-2. These years were 
noted for the great revival wave that was roll- 
ing over this country. He says in a letter to 
Asbury written July, 1802, that he had 500 
conversions on one round on his district. At a 
quarterly meeting he says: "That work broke 
out on Saturday about 4 o'clock in the after- 
noon, and there was no intermission till after 2 
o'clock in the afternoon on Monday. I think 
there w T ere, (at times) during this meeting, up- 
ward of one hundred souls down at one time 
crying for mercy," 

During this year (1802) William Ormond was 
on the Salisbury circuit. He was a very saint- 
ly character, and his brethren regarded him as 
one of the most gifted men of his day. He was 
one of the great leaders in the revival that was 
sweeping over the country. While he was as- 
sisting Daniel Asbuiw on the Yadkin circuit du- 
ring this year, Asbury wrote: "After Bro. Or- 
mond's sermon, under prayer, the Lord display- 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 16 

ed his power in an increasing' Manner," 

GAMP-MEETINGS. 

This brings us up to that period when camp- 
meetings were first started. JThe first camp- 
meeting was held in Kentucky in 1799. The 
McGee brothers were holding a meeting; the 
house soon became too small, and the meeting 
was adjourned to the woods; and there large 
multitudes camped, sang and prayed, until the 
shouts of many new born souls were heard re- 
verberating through the dense forest. These 
camp-meeting were to the scattered settlers in 
the leasure season of the year, like the various 
summer assemblies and Chautauquasof to-day, 
except that they were for- devotion only. 

The next year .(1800) after these meetings 
started, the South and West seemed to be un- 
der a continuous flame of revival fire. During 
this year, at a quarterly meeting every one 
present was converted, the service lasting all 
day. These meetings, whatever may be said of 
them at the present day, did a vast amount of 
good at that time wien the country was so 
sparsely settled. The eccentric Lorenzo Dow 
held the first one in England, but for some rea- 
son they were never very popular in Europe. 
But many Americans will ever be grateful to 
the McGee brothers for introducing this agency 
into the chrurch. And in this connection, per- 
haps, we ought to speak more particularly of 
these two men, especially as they were born 



17 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

and reared in this part of North Carolina. 

John and William McGee were born near the 
Yadkin river, below Salisbury. They were 
reared by Presbyterian parents. But at years 
of maturity, John was very much given to dis- 
sipation, and while he was quite a young man 
he left his widowed mother and went to the 
eastern shore of Maryland. Here he met the 
Methodists and was soon happily converted, 
and within three days afterwards he felt that 
he was called to the work of the ministry, and 
began at once to travel with the circuit preach- 
er. His mother was very much prejudiced 
against the new sect, and when he wrote home 
and told her that he had become a Methodist 
preacher, her cup of sorrow was full, and she 
talked of disowning him as her child. But 
about two years after his conversion he went 
home. His brother William was preparing for 
the ministry in the Presbyterian Church. Soon 
after the arrival of the young Methodist preach- 
er, he was invited to preach at a neighbor's 
house one Sabbath morning. 

There was a great deal of curiosity to hear 
John McGee preach. So the crowd was im- 
mense. And the young preacher was at his 
best. He selected his favorite theme for the oc- 
casion — the new birth, and perhaps he never af- 
terwards excelled the effort of that day. At 
the close of the sermon many were heard to call 
for "mercy." And among the penitents were 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 18 

his mother and brother William; the latter be- 
coming his traveling companion in evangelistic 
work. Under these two brothers a great revi- 
val started in the West in 1799, and camp- 
meetings grew out of this religious awakening. 
At this time, there were union meetings of the 
Methodists and Presbyterians. These two sects 
dropped their doctrinal differences, and united 
for the time being in trying to bring souls to a 
saving knowledge of Christ. They had great 
success. It cannot be measured. Such men as 
Drs. James Hall and L. F. Wilson labored faith- 
fully in these meetings. 

The first camp-meetings ever held in Davie 
county, were at Olive Branch Church and at 
Walnut Grove in 1805. The former located 
about one mile South of Farmington and the 
latter two or three miles still further South on 
Dutchman's Creek. These were among the first 
preaching places in the country as has been 
seen. "From these meetings great revivals 
broke out and swept over the county as fire in 
stubble. The result was the membership of the 
church grew rapidly, and new church edifices 
sprang up. over the Yadkin Valley. School 
houses and a higher grade of civilization follow- 
ed in the wake of the enlightening Gospel." 
ward's campground. 

This campground is one of the most noted in 
the county. It takes its name from the old 
Ward family who were Methdists, and upon 



19 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

whose land these meetings were held. The ex- 
act date is not known when the Methodist be- 
gan to hold their annual camp-meetings at this 
place. From what we can find out it is one of 
the oldest in the county. Some of the old in- 
habitants can point out the exact location of 
the old campground which is about two miles 
North East of Farmington. 

Almost in sight of this spot, just up the river, 
is the shallow ford where Lord Cornwallis cross- 
ed with his army on February the 7th, 1781, 
where little John Spurgers caught sight of them, 
and hastened with the news to Gen. Green. 

One beautiful morning in last September,. 
Brother Frank Ward, who lives upon a part of 
the old Ward plantation and who is a faithful 
member of the Methodist Church, conducted me 
to the sacred spot where so many hundreds of 
souls were converted nearly a century ago. I 
shall never forget the impressions made upon my 
mind while standing upon the old hill of sacred 
memory. It was one of those bright, balmy 
mornings of early autumn, peculiar to this 
Piedmont region. The sky was clear, with not 
a cloud to be seen in the heavens, except a fleecy 
lock here and there. 

The campground was located on the top of a, 
high, rolling hill, with the fertile Yadkin Valley 
stretching to the North, while the Pilot moun- 
tain raises its peculiar dome into the blue sky 
just at the head of this lovely valley. But it is 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 20 

useless for me to try to describe this scenery, 
and especially to give expression to the emo1 tion 
that filled my heart on that bright September 
morning, when I remembered that hundreds 
were now in glory, who first found the Savior 
on this plot of ground. Peter Doub, who has 
perhaps been the instrument in God's hands in 
doing more for Methodism in this county than 
any other man, was powerfully convertec to 
God at this place under the ministry of Rev. 
Edward Cannon, on October the 6th, 1817 A 
great many of the fathers and mothers of the 
present generation were converted at this noted 
campground. As I walked about here over 
this hill my mind naturally went back in im- 
agination to the scenes presented here long- 
years ago when the people came from all the 
surrounding country, leaving their homes and 
dropping all secular business for a few days in 
order to unite their songs, prayers and shouts 
in worshiping God. Friday night comes. Their 
tents are pitched. Fires blazing here and there 
dispel the darkness. Soon a song of the devout 
worshipers breaks the stillness of the night. 
The people assemble under the arbor. The 
Word is preached with earnestness and zeal. 
And the shouts of new born souls are heard un- 
til a late hour of the night. These meetings 
may be useful still, "but their golden days 
date back to virgin forests and new settle- 
ments." 



21 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

SMITH GROVE CAMPGROUND. 

The first camp-meeting was held at Smith 
Grove about 1826, while Peter Doub was P. E. 
There were between 150 and 200 tents. The 
crowd was immense. It was a meeting of great 
power'. Many Christians were encouraged and 
strengthened, and about 150 sinners converted. 
Camp-meetings were kept up for many years at 
this place; and many of the old members of the 
church in this county to-day were converted in 
this beautiful grove. Eev. S. M. Frost D. D., 
who was once a member of the N. C. Conference 
and is now a faithful minister in Pennsylvania, 
was converted about a half a mile from this 
campground, 50 years ago, last September. 
He was at the altar all day, and refused to eat 
any dinner or supper. He was also at the altar 
that night, but found no peace. He retired at 
a late hour, but could not sleep. He rose long 
before day while it was yet dark, and went 
about a half mile from the campground and 
kneeled down at the foot of a large white oak 
tree. A .few weeks ago he wrote a poem, 
headed. 

THAT WHITE OAK TREE, 

a few lines of which 1 will quote: 
'There H a place, a hallowed spot, I long vo see, 
Where stands with out-spread limbs an ancient white 

oak tree; 
'Twas there I knelt with aching heart, and wept and 

prayed, 
And sought for pardon while God's answer long de- 
la vet]. 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 22 

Dark was the night, but darker still my soul in gloom 
Shuddered at thought of endless, dreadful, awful 

doom. 
As thus I wept and prayed and made most solemn 

vows, 
The shimmer of the sun came streaming through the 

boughs 
When quick as thought my load was gone, my heart 

was light, 
My soul was filled with holy peace, the world was 

bright, 
Rocks, hills, and trees joined with me his dear name 

to praise, 
While angels in glory their grateful songs did raise. 
Long years have passed, but still that spot is ever 

dear, 
Jesus is yet with me, my Savior ever near, 
My journey is most ended, the victory most won, 
Soon shall I hear my Captain say, Come home ! Well 

done! 
As through the air I mount, I'll glance at that old 

tree 
Wherp Jesus saved me from despair, and set my spirit 

free." 

It may be of interest to some to know the 
origin of this noted campground. I learn that 
it originated from a dream by Rev. Moses 
Brock. He was a native of this county, and 
while on a visit here, he dreamed of a beautiful 
grove in which was being conducted a glorious 
camp-meeting. He said he wantrd to" realize 
the object of this dream, so he sent out a friend 
to find such a grove as had been presented to 
him in his vision. The man returned without 
finding the desired spot. Mr. Brock accompa- 
nied him in still further search for the place, and 
while they were passing through the beautiful 
forest where Smith Grove Church now stands, 



23 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

Mr. Brock stopped and said: "There is the 
place and here we will have the camp-meeting." 
Some one gave the land, a glorious camp- 
meeting was held, and so Moses Brock's dream 
came to pass. After that, many camp-meetings 
were held upon that sacred spot, hundreds of 
souls were happily converted, and have long- 
since gone up and joined Moses Brock in the 
sweet groves of bliss. Camp-meetings were 
held at many other places in the county. At 
Whitakers, Fulton and Bethel, thay held these 
meetings about the beginning of this 
century. Also at Centre, Salem and Liber- 
ty, and perhaps at some other places in the 
country, camp-meetings were held in later 
years. 

THE JERKS. 

About the time camp-meetings were intro- 
duced into this country, about the year 1800, 
there was a strange phenomenon which accom- 
panied this great religious awakening. It was 
given this appropriate name— "the jerks." And 
it may be of some interest to the young people 
here to-night to know something of this strange 
phenomenon. And perhaps you can get a bet- 
ter idea of it by letting an eye witness tell the 

story. 

Rev. Jacob Young, in his autobiography, 
gives us the following account: 

"In 1804 I first witnessed that strange exer- 
cise, the-jerks, although I had heard much of it 



HIHTORY OF METHODISM. 21 

before. It took subjects from all denominations 
and all classes of society, even the wicked. I 
will give some instances: 

A Mr. Doke, a Presbyterian clergyman of high 
standing, having charge of a congregation in 
Jonesboro, was the first man of eminence in thi s 
region that came under its influence. Often it 
would seize him in the pulpit with so much se- 
verity that a spectator might fear it would di •■$- 
locate his neck and joints. He would laugh, 
stand, and hallo at the top of his voice, finally 
leap from the pulpit and run to the woods, 
screaming like a madman. When the exercise 
was over, he would return to the church calm 
and rational as ever. Sometimes at hotels this 
affliction would visit persons, causing them, for 
example, in the very act of raising the glass to 
their lips, to jerk and throw the liquid to the 
ceiling, much to the merriment of some and the 
alarm of others. I have often seen ladies take . 
it at the breakfast table. As they were pouring 
out tea or coffee, they would thro w the contents 
toward the ceiling, and sometimes break the 
saucer. Then hastening from the table, their 
long suits of braided hair hanging down their 
back would crack like a whip. For a time the 
jerks was a topic of conversation — public and 
private — both in the church and out. Various 
opinions were expreseed concerning it, some as- 
cribing it to the devil, others to an opposite 
source; some striving against it, others courting- 



J-> HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

it as the power of God unto salvation. In 
many eases its consequences were disastrous, in 
some fatal. 

A preacher, who was in early life a dancing 
master, joined the conference and was sent to a 
circuit where the jerks greatly prevailed. He 
declared it was of the devil, and that he would 
preach it out of the Methodist Church. He com- 
menced the work with great zeal and high ex- 
pectations, but before he got once around he 
took the jerks himself, or rather the jerks took 
him. When the fit began he would say: "Ah, 
yes! Oh no?" At every jerk he used his hands 
and arms as if he were playing the violin. One 
morning, being seized as he was going to an ap- 
pointment, he let go the bridle, and the horse 
ran off till he was stopped at the gate. The 
rider having dismouated, in order to steady 
himself, laid hold of the pailings of the fence, 
which unfortunately gave way. The lady of 
the house coming to the door to see what was 
the matter, heightened his mortification. At- 

CD ^ 

tempting to hide himself by running into the or- 
chard, his strange movement, as he ran fiddling 
along, and the tail of his long gown flying in 
the wind, attracted the attention of the hounds, 
the whole pack of which pursued him with hid- 
eous yells. Being afraid of the dogs, he turned 
and rushed into the house by the back door, and 
running up stairs jumped into bed, where he lay 
till the fit was over." 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 26 

A MISSING LINK. 

I have but very little information about the 
history of Methodism in this part of the coun- 
try, from about 1800 to the year 1816. 1 have 
not been able to find any record of these inter- 
vening years, and but very little information 
from any source. Here the chain necessarily 
must be broken. I find in 1807, Iredell circuit, 
embracing Iredell county, was set off from the 
Yadkin and Salisbury circuits into a new pas- 
toral charge. 

From the year 1816, we have the Quarterly 
Conference records of the Salisbury circuit, 
which still embraced Davie count}'. At this 
time, peace had been restored after the war of 
1812, and the church seems to catch new life 
and starts off with fresh courage. During this 
year the General Conference met in the city of 
Baltimore. And Edward Cameron, the P. E. on 
the Salisbury District, was one of its delegates. 
Some important moves were made during this 
Conference that no doubt, resulted in good to 
the church. It seems that a great many preach- 
ers were locating on account of the insufficiency 
of their salaries to support themselves and fam- 
ilies. At this Conference, the salary of a preach- 
er was raised from $84 to $100, and expenses. 
And the same for his wife, if he had any, with 
$24 for each child under 14 years of age. Also, 
at this Conference a course of study was pre- 
scribed for the preachers, and they were exhort- 



27 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

ed to read and study more. These movements 
by the General Conference had a fine effect upon 
the preachers and people. 

We find that the first Quarterly Conference for 
this year (1816) was held on the 16th of March, 
at Olive Branch in this county. In order to 
show you the extent of this circuit at that day, 
what they paid, and how they got up the min- 
utes, I will read a copy of the minutes of this 
Conference just as I find them recorded: 

"Minutes of a Quarterly Meeting Conference 
held at Olive Branch on the 16th of March 1816, 
for Salisbury circuit. Members present: Ed- 
ward Cannon, Boen Keynolds, Nathaniel Brock, 
Samuel Austin, Joseph Bird, James Ellis, Thos. 
Job. 

Question 1. Are there any complaints? 

Ans. No. 

Question 2. Are there any appeals ? 

Ans. No. 
Question 3. Does any person apply for license 
to preach? 

Ans. No. 

Question 4. What preachers' license wants 
to be renewed ? 

Ans. Benjamin Naylor, Edward Cannon, Boen 
Reynolds, Sec. 

QUARTERAGE. 

Mount Zion, 4.82 1-2 

Wards, (Davie county,) 1-50 

Elles's, " " 2.25 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 


28 


Shady Grove, (Davie county, ) 


1.12 1-2 


Mount Pleasant, 


8.22 1-2 


Concord, 


20 


Sharon, 


1.12 1-2 


Prospect, 


1.75 


Ebenezer, (Randolph county,) 


2.00 


Tabernacle, 


1,90 


Russell's-, 


' 1.00 


New Hope, 


.75 


Rock Spring, (Davidson county, ) 


7.25 


Centre, (Montgomery county.) 


1.70 


Hancock's, 


.68 3-4 


Taylor's, 


2.10 


Bethel, (Davie county,) 


.12 1-2 


Whitaker's, " 


1.75 


Olive Branch, 


3.97 1-2 


Zion. 


.50 


Appropriated, 


37.38 1-8 


Edward Cannon. 


4.00 


B. Reynolds, 


22.18 



Surplus, 11.02 i_ L > 

We find 20 appointments on the circuit repre- 
sented at this Quarterly Meeting. Two were 
not represented, making 22 appointments on 
the circuit. This circuit embraced several 
counties, and was perhaps as large as any Pres- 
iding Elder's district in the Conference to-day. 
With theae appointments, bedden olheio at 



29 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

private houses, the pastor, Boen Reynolds, had 
to preach almost every clay in the week. Hence 
we see the necessity of swimming creeks and 
rivers. Because it' he loses one day he must 
necessarily miss several appointments. 

In 1817, Abraham Trail was on the circuit 
and seems to have done good work. He was 
assisted by Robt. Carson. These men were fol- 
lowed by such men as Benjamin Stephens and 
James Reid, with James Patterson as P. E„ 
James Patterson was followed by Louis Skid- 
more and Peter Doub. 

At the Annual Conference in 1831, the Salis- 
bury circuit was divided, cutting off the church- 
es south of Salisbury. Still the old Salisbury cir- 
cuit had 11 appointments, embracing all the 
churches in Davie county. This year (1831) we 
find Moses Brock, P. E., and Samuel I). Tomp- 
kins, P. C. 

The year 1819 will ever be distinguished for 
the origin of the Missionary Society in the M. E. 
Church. But not until the year 1832 did the 
Salisbury circuit take any active part in this 
great movement in the way of an organization. 
But at the second quarterly meeting for this 
year, E. D. Austin, the recording steward, of- 
fered the following resolution, which was 
adopted : 

"Resolved: That it is expected, at this time, 
to form a Missionary Society on the Salisbury 
ct. auxiliary to the Missionary Society of the 



HISTOJRY OF METHODISM. 30 

Va. Conference." 

This was a very important move and no 
doubt resulted in great good to the work. 

Just four years after this in 1836, the circuit 
sent to Conference $44.47 for Missions, and in 
1837 Mocksville and Olive Branch alone paid 
$60.71. This is quite an increase on the whole 
circuit the year before. So we see that the Mis- 
sionary spirit began to grow among our peo- 
ple at this early day. 

Charles P. Moorman was preacher in charge 
on this circuit during the year 1832-3. The re- 
sult of his labors is yet seen. In 1833, John 
Wesley Childs was P. E. On the minutes of this 
year we find that the circuit is called Rowan 
circuit instead of Salisbury. This year, at the 
second Quarterly Meeting held at Smith Grove, 
there were some important moves that I wish 
to call attention to. It is said in the minutes, 
that "the conference then proceeded to form it- 
self into a society to be called The Sunday-school 
Bible and Tract Society of Rowan circuit." And 
immediately after this society had been organ- 
ized, George Lowry offered the folowing resolu- 
tion, which was adopted: 

"Resolved. Tha,t it is expedient to form a 
Temperance Society in Rowan circuit." 

This, so far as I know, was the first temper- 
ance Society in the county. It is interesting to 
me to know the names of those who first made 
a move in the missionary work in this county, 



31 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

and also in the threat temperance reform that is 
now agitating the minds of the thinking people 
all over this land. 

We find, also, that daring this year, a Sunday- 
school and Youth's Library was formed at 
Mocksville, Whitaker's and Salisbury. And 
that a Bible Society was formed at Liberty. 
These societies, organized more than a half a 
century ago,, have done much in driving back 
the dark clouds of ignorance and sin, and of 
turning on the glorious light of the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ. 

These and similar societies are doing a great 
deal to-day to evangelize the world. There are 
more Bibles scattered over the world at present 
than ever before. This is largely due to such 
societies as those organized on this circuit in 
1838. 

Voltaire said in his day that Christianity 
would be vanished from the earth in less than a 
hundred years. The hundred years have passed. 
Voltaire is gone, but the Bible continues to 
shine. 

In addition to these organizations, the circuit 
was greatly blessed with a revival of religion. 
Brother Moorman seems to have been quite a 
revivalist. Some of the old people, who are 
still living in the bounds of this circuit, were re- 
ceived into the church under his ministry. He 
was a strong temperance advocate. He did 
much good work for the circuit, and was quite 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 32 

popular as a preacher; some however, did not 
like his temperance principles and utterances 
on that subject. I would like to know more of 
him. He was followed in 1834 by S. M. Boat- 
right and by Barnum in 1835, with Abram 
Peen as P. E. 

In 1836, the Mocks ville circuit was formed. 
James Reid, P. E., and William Anderson 
preacher in charge. 

The parsonage in Mocksville was bought in 
1866 by the Rev. J. E. Maune. and when the 
circuit was divided in 1876, the Farmington 
circuit bought a parsonage in Smith Grove for 
f4. 25, being the amount received from the 
Mocksville circuit. At the first Quarterly Meet- 
ing for 1890, oh the Farmington circuit, the 
conference ordered that this old house be sold 
and the proceeds applied towards the building 
of a new parsonage in Farmington. And a 
very commodious house is now being erected. 

At a Quarterly Conference held on the Mocks- 
ville circuit at Mt. Sinai on the 27th of Oct. 1838, 
Rev. John Tillett obtained a recommendation 
to the Annual Conference to enter the traveling 
connection. Also we find on the record that 
Revs. C. F. Deems and Franklin Harris obtained 
a recommendation to the Annual Conference at 
a Quarterly Conference held at Smith Grove in 
1841. The time allotted to me in this lecture is 
not sufficient to call the names of all the preach- 
ers and tell what they did while serving this 



33 HISTQRY OF METHODISM. • 

grand old circuit. Many of them are still in our 
midst doing faithful service for the church, while 
a large number of them have been called from 
the scenes of conflict and labor to that rest that 
remaineth to the people of God. 

Let us for a little while notice the present 
Methodist churches in Davie county. 

MOCKS VILLE CHURCH. 

This church is a successor of old Bethel Church, 
that was located about one mile east of Mocks- 
ville. But in 1833 a church was built in Mocks- 
ville and the membership moved to this place. 
Mrs. Luticia Carter gave the lot, and Jesse 
Clement did more, perhaps, than any other man 
in building this church. However, the pastor, 
Rev. C. P. Moorman, did a great deal in pushing 
the work forward. It is said that he helped to 
haul and lay the foundation stones. 

The congregation grew rapidly and was soon 
a very flourishing church. The Annual Confer- 
ence met here in 1840, Bishop Morris presiding ; 
and again in 1864. At this Conference Bishop 
Early was to have presided, but failed to get 
here. Many of the leaders of this church have 
passed away, and some are just waiting on the 
shores of time, expecting soon to follow. 

FULTON CHURCH. 

This church was organized about the begining 
of this century and was known by the name of 
Hebron for many years. However, when the 
old town of Fulton was laid off, the church took 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 34 

its name from that of the town. This was an 
old camp ground. John Lb wry and Joseph 
Hanes were said to be the founders of this 
church. They still live in the hearts of the peo 
pie. 

On Saturday, June 16th, 1888, the people of 
this vicinity met together and laid the corner 
stone of a new house of worship, Rev. F. L. 
Reid delivering a very line address on that oc- 
casion. 

An elegant brick church was built — the neat- 
est and most beautiful of any in the county — 
and on the first Sunday in August 1889, was 
dedicated, Rev. J. H. Cordon preaching the ser- 
mon. This house speaks well for the commu- 
nity. 

. CENTRE CHURCH. 

This society was first organized in 1$30, 
something over a mile from where the church 
now stands in James Penry's house where Cal- 
vin Walker now lives. They carried on a Sun- 
day-school there for sometime before the church 
was built. Daniel Dwiggins was one of the 
founders of this church. He came from For- 
syth county in early manhood and settled in 
this community. He became a local preacher 
and did faithful work in the church for many 
years. At present the membership is large. 
st. john's church. 

Dr. John Anderson built this church and dur- 
ing the year 1876 presented it to the M. E. 



35 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

Church South. It is a neat little building, and 
is located in the little village of Callahan. The 
membership is still small. 

Hickory Grove is another church located near 
Callahan, and is a successor of Beal's Church 
which has been noticed as being the first Metho- 
dist Church that was ever built in Western 
North Carolina. I learn the old church is much 
dilapidated, but steps are being taken to build 
a new one 

SHADY GROVE CHURCH. 

We have seen in another part of this sketch, 
that when Bishop Asbury visited the Cokesbury 
School in 1799, that the building was used for 
a house of God. Shady Grove church is the 
successor of this old organization on the Yad- 
kin. It is now a flourishing church with over 
300 members. 

SMITH GROVE CHURCH. 

This is a successor of old Whitaker's Church, 
that Ave have noticed as being one of the first in 
the county. A noted camp-ground was started 
here in 1826. We had a regular appointment 
here in the academy for many years. But in 
1877 the present church was built at a cost of 
about $1200. 

LIBERTY CHURCH. 

The Methodists began to preach near where 
this church is located during the year 1819. 
Previous to this time they had been preaching 
in the old Union Church at Jerusalem. But 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 36 

when the Methodists began to hold their love 
feast and class meetings with closed doors, the 
other denominations cried out against it and a 
great disturbance in the community followed. 
This occurred in 1819 when James Reid was 
quite a young man and was preacher in charge 
on this circuit. He made an appointment at a 
little school house on the road near where Lib- 
erty church now stands; when he arose to begin 
the service, he said: "Here we will have liber- 
ty." When the church was built it took its 
name from the saying of the young preacher. 
Here they had camp-meetings also. About the 
time Concord Church was organized a great 
many of the members went" there, and conse- 
quently left this church rather weak But it 
soon gained its strength and is to-day a very 
active congregation for the advancement of the 
cause of Christ. 

FARMINGTQN CHURCH. 

This church is located in the town of Far- 
mington upon a beautiful eminence. It succeed- 
ed old Olive Branch. And the present large and 
handsome church was built in 1881, at a coTst 
of about $ 2500. At this church the congrega- 
tions are large. Here we find a good type of 
Methodism. There is another church near Far- 
mington called Wesley Chapel, but I know noth- 
ing of its history. 

SALEM CHURCH. 

This old church is located in the western part 



6t HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

of the county, and large congregations still at- 
tend here to hear the preaching of the Word. 

CONCORD CHURCH. 

I find this entry made in one of the old jour- 
nals: "In the year 1846, under the labors of 
Bibb and Martin, a society was formed at. Con- 
cord, three miles from Liberty." But I am in- 
clined to believe there was a regular appoint- 
ment here previous to this time. Mary Hodges, 
who is still living, was one of the original mem- 
bers. 

Before this church was organized there was a 
monthly appoint merit at the house where Mr. 
J. A. Hendrick now lives, and a powerful revi- 
val was conducted there in 1846. 

OAK GROVE. 

This church was one of the successors of old 
Whitaker's church that has been noticed. The 
congregation first worshiped iir McUlamriek's 
school house, and in 1850 moved to Sain's 
school house. We now have a very good 
church 3% miles north of Mocksville, erected 
about eight years ago. 

WESLEY CHAPEL 

The church is three miles west of Farmington. 
It is an elegant country church, neatly painted 
inside and out, and has a nice bell-tower. The 
first church was built about one mile west 
of where the present church stands, by David 
McMahan in 1732 or 3. Previous to that time 
meetings were held at his father's house about 



'S 



HISTORY OE METHODISM. 38 

two hundred yards south of the present church. 
The church was built on the present site in 1874. 

BETHLEHEM. 

This church was originally built three fourths 
of a mile east of the present church by Levi 
Smith and others. And in 1843 was moved to 
the present site because of a grave yard there. 
The grave yard called Timber Ridge was owned 
by the Baptist's who still own an interest in it. 
A new church was built in 1884, while Rev. W. 
C. Wilson was pastor, bj the side of the old 
one. It was chiefly built by Frank B. Ward, 
grand son of the builder of the old church. 

Let us notice some of the Methodists ministers 
born and reared in Davie county. 

REV. MOSES BROCK 

was a native of Davie county, and has many rel- 
atives now living in the upper part of the county. 
He preached his first sermon in young manhood 
in a neighbor's house near Farmington, that 
was occupied one night by Lord Cornwallis, 
Avhen he passed through this country in Feb. 
1781. He joined the Conference in 1820, and 
for more than 40 years did much in building up 
Methodism in North Carolina. He was P. E. on 
the Salisbury District in 1831—2. He was one 
of the founders of Greensboro Female Col- 
lege. Moses Brock was no ordinary preacher in 
his day. He was sometimes eloquent. After 
passing the meridian of life, he moved to Ten- 
nessee, where he finished his discourse. He had 



39 History of Methodism. 

a great deal of natural wit and humor about 
him, and I suppose he would be regarded as ec- 
centric, yet he was successful in winning souls 
for Christ. He was married twice after moving 
to Tennessee. And at a ripe old age he passed 
from the scenes of conflict to his reward above. 

REV. JOHN RICH 

was also a native of this county, born 1815, 
and joined the Conference in 1840. He was a 
A'ery fine preacher and a "sweet spirited Chris- 
tian." But, in 1851, his eloquent voice was 
hushed, and dropping off his mortality in Da- 
vidson county, he went up to his everlasting 
home in the sky. 

REV. S. M. FROST, I). D. 

Born in Davie, was converted at Smith Grove 
in Sept. 1839, and joined the Conference in 18- 
46. He was for many years a member of the 
North Carolina Conference and was very effi- 
cient as a teacher and preacher. He is now 
preaching inPennsylvania. 

REV. K. T HUDSON, D. D. 

was born in Davie in 1&'2'3, and joined the con- 
ference in 1851. He is still an active member 
of the N. C. Conference. He ranks high among 
us as an author and minister of the Gospel. 
His Methodist Armor stands among the first 
in Methodist literature. He has written smal- 
ler works. He is also a corresponding editor 
of the Raleigh Christian Advocate. 






HISTORY OF METHODISM. 40 

REV. JAMES F. SMOOt. 

aative of Davie, entered the conference in 1856, 
located in 1875, is now Colporteur on the Salis- 
bury District. 

REV. W. H. CALL 

was born in Davie, entered the conference in 18- 
68, and now holds a supernumerary rela- 
tion in the conference. 

REV. W. & WILSON 

was born in Davie, joned the conference inl86-J. 
and is now pastor of the church in Thoinasville, 
N. C. 

REV. JAMES WILSON 

native of Davie, entered the conference in 1871, 
and is now editor of the Statesville Christian 
Advocate. 

Now before I close this sketch I want to 
glance at some of the planters and cultivators 
of Methodism here in the "Forks of the Yadkin." 
We have already mentioned some of them. We 
have spoken of Asbury, Lee and Hull; of Year- 
gin, Douthit and Brock; others have been al- 
luded to. But I would like to speak more par- 
ticularly of many of those who sowed the gos- 
pel seec all over these hills and valleys; but I 
have not the facts concerning them at hand, 
neither have 1 the time in this lecture. 

REV. PETER DOUB, D. D. 

did more perhaps to plant Methodism in this 
county than any other man. -He was on this 
District three different times; from 1826-29, 



41 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

from 1841-44 and again in 1854. He was born 
in Forsyth county, March, 1790, joined the con- 
ference in 1818, and for more than a half a cen- 
tury, "he wielded the sword of the spirit with 
the hand of a tried warrior." It is said that 
when he joined the conference, he had never seen 
an English grammar. And yet, by persistent 
study, lie prepared himself to fill some of the 
highest positions in the church. Before he died 
he was professor of Bibical literature in Trinity 
College. During his first term, as P. E. on this 
district in 182G-29, there were 2,738 souls con- 
verted at meetings that he held in person, and 
more than 7,000 in the bonnds of the District. 

REV. JAMES REIl) 

served this circuit first as pastor when quite a 
young man, and afterwards as P. E. He has 
left his influence among us, and though dead, 
he yet speaketh. 

REV. JOHN TILLETT 

made great efforts to overthrow the whiskey 
traffic in Davie county. His influence is still 
felt on this circuit. He perhaps did more than 
any other man in putting down intemperance 
and distilleries in this county. 

REV. J. W. CHILDS 

did a great deal for Methdism in this section. 
He was a holy, consecrated man of God. 

REV. N. F. REID, D. D. 

preached two sermons on the subject of Baptism 
at Concord Church that will never be forgotten 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 42 

by those who heard them. They will be hand- 
ed doAvn by tradition as the greatest sermons 
ever delivered in all this section, upon that sub- 
ject. 

Methodism in this county is much indebted to 
such ministers as: Abram Penn, Joseph Good- 
man, S. D. Bumpass, William Barringer and 
Lemon Shell — all gone to their eternal rest, and 
a host of others whose names we have not 
time to mention. 

It would not be proper to close this imperfect 
sketch without saying something of that one, 
who traveled the Mocksville circuit in 1880-81. 
Who at the close of the conference year, on Nov. 
27th, 1881, in Mocksqille, N. C, triumphantly 
passed to his reward in heaven. Thomas A. 
Coon was born in 1842, converted in 1866, 
and joined the conference in Raleigh in 1874. 
Physically he was slender and delicate, but 
mentally he was a giant. Socially he was 
gentle and amiable. It has been said: "The at- 
mosphere of his social life was fragrant as the 
aroma of the vernal morn — pure as the breath 
of heaven." But it is not necessary for me to 
tell of his social qualities, or to speak of him as 
a preacher and pastor, for as such many of you 
knew him well. He did faithful work on this 
circuit, but he is no more among us. His frail 
body now sleeps in the graveyard at Liberty 
Church. He is resting from his labors, but his 
works follow him. Peace be to his ashes! 



43 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

These are some of the heroes who have helped 
to make Methodism what it is. They have long 
since passed from the scenes of struggle and con- 
test. They have lefl us an example of heroic 
deeds. Many of them to-day are almost forgot- 
ten, and some of their last resting places can 
not be found. 

"No sculptured stone in stately temple 
Proclaims their rugged lot; 
Like Him who was their great example 
This vain world knew them not. 

But though their names no poet wove 

In deathless song or story, 
Their record is inscribed above; 
Their wreaths are crowns of glory." 

But do you ask, what have these consecrated 
itinerants accomplished during the past centu- 
ry ? If so, it will not be hard to show you some 
of the results of their labors. There is a well 
known building in London with its architect 
sleeping under its dome. Upon either hand rise 
monuments carved with eulogies of Lords, 
Kings and heroes. While over the body of the 
architect of St. Pauls, there lies an unadorned 
slab with only these words upon it: "Do 3^011 
seek his monument, look above you." That 
dome, the work of that man's brain and hands, 
stands there to-day as a lasting monument to 
his memory. And when you ask for the result 
of the labors of these holy men of God who 
came into the little county of Davie a little over 
a hundred years ago, and planted the cross and 
preached the Gospel to our ancestors just as if 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 44 

the fires of the judgment had alreadily been kin- 
dled, I say, ''look around you." Look at Meth- 
odism then and now. The circuit traveled in 
1780 by Andrew Yeargin took in all this beau- 
tiful and fertile Yadkin Valley — stretching from 
the undulating hill country to the top of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains in the northern part of 
North Carolina. And in all this territory only 
21 members and one preacher. Now we have 
several districts, many circuits and stations 
with thousands of members, besides the many 
thousands of the sainted dead who have gather- 
ed with their leaders in the glory land. Look 
around you in your own native county of Davie, 
and you will see 14 Methodist Churches, where 
great multitudes assemble from time to time to 
worship Almighty God; these, last year, (1888) 
having a membership of about 1 693, with 
about one thousand children in the Sunday 
schools. When we think of the small beginnings 
of Methodism and what it has accomplished, 
we are reminded of the little cloud that Elijah 
saw hanging over the sea, which soon sent 
forth great showers of rain. So Andrew Year- 
gin appeared in this section over a century ago, 
with the promise of the Gospel and since that 
time many refreshing showers have come from 
the presence of the Lord. 

"Saw ye not the cloud arise — 
Little as a human hand ? 
Now it spreads along the skies- 
Hangs o'er all the thirsty land I 



40 HISTORY OF .METHODISM. 

When lie first the work begun. 
Small and feeble was his day; 
Now the world doeth swiftly run, 
Now it wins its widening way ! 
More and more it spreads and grows; 
Ever mighty to prevail, 
Sin's strong holds it now o'erthrows, 
Shakes the trembling gates of hell !" 

These are some of the visible results of their 
labo'rs, but the full result will only be seen in 
the light of eternity. May their spirit be instill- 
ed in us of the present generation ! May their 
nnintles fall upon the young men in our schools 
and colleges, and may thej so catch their spirit 
and zeal, that they will take hold of the gospel 
banner and wave it over all lands, until 
the whole world shall be bathed in the glorious 
light of the Gospel of our blessed Redeemer! 

APPENDIX. 

After going back to the rise of Methodism in 
Davie county, following its history down to the 
present, and seeing its wonderful progress from 
time to time, we feel like exclaiming with the 
Psalmist: "The Lord has done great things for 
us, whereof we are glad." 

But, when we contemplate the growth and 
spread of Methodism in this country, the ques- 
tion might be asked, how did she make such 
great progress and accomplish so much? Or 
how is it that Methodism coming into this 
county after some others, has made snch a won- 
derful record? Perhaps it is due largely to 
some of its peculiar usages, such as, 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 46 

1st. Its itinerant system. 

This system is based upon one of the mottoes 
of Methodism. "The world is my parish." It 
is also based upon the great commission: "Go 
ye into all the world etc." Instead of being 
called, or people coming to the minister, he is to 
go and seek the lost sheep. Jesus Christ was an 
itinerating preacher. His circuit embraced 
Galilee, Judea and Samaria. The seventy were 
sent forth two and two "into every city and 
place." Seventy-five or a hundred years ago 
when Methodism was being planted in this 
sparsely settled region, the preachers were sent 
forth two and two having the true spirit of the 
itinerancy, which is the spirit of the great com- 
mission. 

This system has many advantages. No 
church however poor is without a pastor. And 
no effective preacher is without a ; pastorial 
charge. Then we have a great variety of talent. 
One year a man who is peculiarly fitted to de- 
fend the doctrines. The next one that thunders 
the law and arouses a sleeping church. Then a 
revivalist to reap the harvest, followed by a 
disciplinarian to train the converts. So we 
see that this system is based upon the Bible, 
and has many advantages over a settled minis- 
try. It is true that the ministers have to make 
many sacrifices to carry out this system, but the 
unparalleled growth of Methodism shows that 
it is best for the church. 



47 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

2nd. Another agency that has helped to 
make Methodism what it is, is the Sunday 
school work. 

I have not been able to find out the exact 
date of the origin of Sunday schools in Davie 
county. Doubtless they were established soon 
after the planting of the church in this vicinity, 
and have been growing ever since. But still the 
Sunday schools to-day are not what thej 7 should 
be in this county. The number of scholars 
should be doubled. The idea that the Sunday 
school is for children only, should be banished 
from every mind. It is said that John Wesley 
while a missionary to Georgia organized a 
school of forty children. At that time, and 
with some people down to the present, the Sun- 
day school was regarded as the nursery of the 
church; but to-day, it is not only the nursery 
of the church, but it is defined as the "church at 
work." And our Dicipline says: "Let Sunday 
schools be formed in all our congregations, 
where ten persons can" be collected for that pur- 
pose." We see here that it is not only for chil- 
dred but for adults also. No one should be too 
old to study God's Word and tell the children of 
Jesns and his love. Many have been brought to 
Christ through efforts made in the Sunday 
school, and many trained for active service in 
the church. Hence this agency has done much 
to build up Methodism in this county. 

?). The Methodist church is a church of revi- 



HISTORY OF METHODISM, 48 

vals. Bishop Marvin said: "Methodism was 
not a resolution against existing" ecclesiastical 
authority, nor against established doctrines, 
but a revival of religion." 

Ever Since Wesley felt his heart "strangely 
warmed," this fire has been catching from heart 
to heart, and Methodism has been spreading 
and growing. 

We have already noticed the great camp-meet- 
ings that have been held in the county, where 
hundreds and thousands found Jesus and experi- 
enced a flame of love in their heart that they 
had never known before. A Methodist preacher 
to a great extent is a failure without a revival. 
And that church that has no revival is dead. 
It may have form, but no life. It may have 
some goodness, but no power. Reader, if your 
church is cold and dead never be contented until 
your own heart is revived, and then carry it to 
the hearts of others, continuing to pray and 
work, until your church is aroused and blessed 
with a gracious revival. 

This revival spirit has been the means of buil- 
ding up the Methodist church more than any 
thing else. So much so that some other church- 
es have recognized its influence and have adopt- 
ed the system. 

4th. I might mention the class meeting 
which is peculiar to Methodism and shows 
many good results. I might point to that long 
Jist of consecrated men who have served as pas- 



49 HISTORY OF METHODISM. 

tor in this county during: the last hundred years, 
and all would admit that they did much to 
make the church what it is. Many of them 
were preachers of a high order. But these ear- 
nest servants of God frequently did not stop af- 
ter the delivery cf the sermon, they at once be- 
gan to exhort and sing with such zeal and pow- 
er, that many were aroused and brought to a 
waving- knowledge of Christ. Singing has had 
much to do in establishing Methodism in this 
country. I sometimes fear that the Methodists 
do not sing like they did in the days of the past. 
Dr. J. E. Edwards gives a description of a camp- 
meeting at Smith Grove in 1883, when hundreds 
of voices were blended in the chorus of song. 
I will give his description in part as you will see 
how The Methodists use to exhort and sing: 

In company with my brother and some others 
we rode from near Greensboro in Guilford Co., a 
distance of about thirty miles, to Smith's Grove. 
The day was declining when we reached the 
camp. The blue columns of smoke from camp 
fires were rising above the trees. The inner 
rows of tents formed a hollow square. There 
was a hum and bustle outside the inner lines. 
Horses were neighing. Vehicles were passing. 
Children were playing. The afternoon sermon 
had just closed, and as I entered the enclosure 
and came in sight of the arbor and stand, 
Absalom Kennedy was at the bookboard lead- 
ing the singing. I can hear it now like an echo 



HISTORY OF METHODISM. 50 

coming back from a hidden dell. The chorus 

was: 

"Turn to the Lord and seek salvation; 
Sound the praise of his dear name; 
Glory, honor, and salvation, 
Christ the Lord has come to reign." 

Brother Childs, with his pale face, and neat 
plain attire, was standing on the platform and 
calling out in his pathetic tones; ''come along 
poor sinner; come to Jesus. Turn to the Lord 
and seek salvation." Hundreds of voices were 
blended in that chorus, led by the strong clear- 
voice of Brother Kennedy. The meeting was a 
great success. 

As we now have the new hymn books, let ev- 
ery body sing and revive this power for good in 
the church. Because hundreds are now in glory 
who were brought to Christ by singing of those 
grand old Wesleyan hymns. 

By the itinerant system, Sunday school work, 
earnest preaching, exhortation and song, great- 
revivals have spread over this county, and 
Methodism has been planted and nourished, 
until we have two good circuits with a proba- 
bility of having two more at no distant day. 
The present circuits are both too large, and we 
predict that before many years there will be 
four Methodist pastors in the prosperous coun- 
ty of Davie. 

With the progress that has been made by the 
Methodist church in this county in "the last few 
years, with its glorious history of the past, and 



51 HISTOKY OF METHODISM. 

with its present encouraging outlook, we 
might well ask, "what shall the harvest be?" 
Let us labor and wait, and we shall know here- 
after, remembering that, 

"As we've sown so shall we reap, 
In the tide of coming years." 

List of Pastors and Presiding Elders who 
have served in this county since 1816. 

Presiding Elders. Preachers in Charge. 

1816, Edward Cannon. Bowen Reynolds. 

1817, " Abraham Trail, Richard Carson. 

1818, James Patterson. Benjamin Stephens, 

Charles Cooly. ' 

1819, " James Reid, Archabald Robertson. 
182o f " W. Eastwood. 

1821, " E. Ellis. 

1822, Louis Skidmore. Thacker Muire, 

David Roberts. 

1823, " Joakim Lane. 

1824, " James W. Dunahay. 

1825, " Robert Wilkenson. 

1 826, Peter Doub. Chistopher Thomas. 
I have not been able tofind out who served 

the circuit as pastors from 1826 to 1831. 

1831, Moses Brock. Samuel D. Tompkins. 

1832, " Charles P. Moorman. 

1833, John Wesley Childs. 

1834, " .J. M. Boatright. 
185, Abram Penn. Thomas Barnum. 

1836, " William Anderson. 

1837, James Reid. 



52 


HISTORY OF 


METHODISM. 


1838, 


it 


Thomas A. Sharpe. 


1839, 


.( 


a 


1840, 


tt 


Thomas Jones. 


1841, 


Peter Doub. A. 1 


\ Harris, H. H. Tippet. 


1842, 


a 


P. W. Archer. 


1843, 


it 


Wm. M. Jordan. 


1844. 


" Thomas Campbell, S- H. Helsabeck. 


1845, 


Joseph Goodman. 


J. W. Tinnin, 
P. W. Yarrell. 


1840, 


R. 


P. Bibbs, J. B. Martin. 


1847, 


S. D. Bumpass. A 


. E. Allen, J. W. Floyd. 


1848, 


it 


J. J. Hines. 


1849, 


J.' 


Tillett, L. S. Burkhead. 


1850. 


it 


J. Tillet, 


1851, 


Wm. Carter. Lemon Shell, C. M. Pepper. 


1852 


a 


Lemon Shell. 


1853, 


11 


J. St Clair. 


1854, 


Peter Doub. 


T. M Pastell. 


1855, 


N. H. D. Wilson. 


A. H. Johnson. 


1856, 


i'l 


S. D. Adams. 


1857, 


tt 


S. H. Helsabeck. 


1858, 


N. F. Reich 


T. B. Reeks. 


1859, 


It 


M. C. Thomas. 


1860, 


W. H. Bobbitt. 


a 


1861, 


tt 


W. C. Gannon. 


1862, 


it 


u 


1863, 


Ira T. Wyehe. 


R. G. Barrett, 


1964, 


tt 


(t 


1866, 


it 


Carson Parker. 


1866, 


It 


K. E. Maune. 


1867, 


William Closs. 


J.i 



53 HIRTOJRY OF METHODISM. 

1868, " S. L. Maune. 

1869, " . M. V. Sherrill. 

1870, H. T. Hutson. 

1871, M. L. Wood. J. S. Nelson. 
1872, 

1873, " Lemon Shell. 

1874, 

1875, D. It. Bruton. 

At the conference at the close of the year 1875, 
the Mocksville circuit was divided, forming 
the Farmington circuit. 

PASTORS ON THE MOCKSVILLE CIRCUIT. 

187G, I). R, Bruton. Thos. A. Boon. 

1877, 

1878, 

1879, R. G. Barrett. 

1880, 

1881, W. S. Black.. 

1882, 

1883, 

1881 

1885, W. H. Bobbitt. 

1886, " 
1887, 
1888, 

1889, J. T. Gibbs. 

1890, J. J. Renn. 

FARMINGTON CIRCUIT. 

1876 to 1880, W. C. Wilson; 1880, J.C.Rowe; 
1881, J. W. Randall; 1882, D. L. Earnhart; 1883 
to close of 1886, W. C. Wilson; 1887-88-89, 
H. M. Blair; 1890, P. L. Groom. 



T. A. Coon 

T. L. Triplet, 
G. F. Round. 

G. F. Round. 

W. C. Wilson. 

W. L. Grissom. 



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Augusta, Davie County, N. C. 

RAILROAD AND TELEGRAPH STATION, SALISBURY, N. C. 

The third annual session begins Aug. the 4th. 1890 and continues 
twenty weeks. Entire expenses including tuition, board, lights, fuel 
and washing $45 to $50. varying with the number and character of 
the studies pursued. Music, modern languages, and commercial 
branches extra charges are parable — tuition in advance. Board 
monthly in advance. No deduction exept for serious aud protracted 
illness. 

Among the advantages are the following: Large new building, el- 
egantly painted and amply furnished with patent desks, maps, charts, 
etc., of the latest and most approved designs, a genial country com- 
munity sdiere there ara few temptations to idleness or extra va.; ance, 
healthful mountain climate, daily mail. Pupil's received into regu- 
lar college classes, from this school, without examination, on presen- 
tation of a certificate from the Principal. Monthly lectures (free to 
pupils) by representative men of the various learned professions, 
three scholarships, worth repectively $150.. $75., and $25., given an- 
nually to three pupils that make the highest average in their studies 
and deportment for the current year. Gold medals and other prizes 
are awarded for excellence in special studies, the proceeds of a Loan 
Fund, yeilding annually $1000, is available for aid to worthy indi- 
gent young men, faithfnl, painstaking and experiencd teachers, pu- 
pils prepared for any College or University, or for the ordinary pur- 
suits of life. Four States and teu counties represented during the 
last year, numbers limited to 110. For fuller particulars address the 
Principal. J. D. Hojwes, A. M. 

Augusta, N. 1 C. 
EXTRACTS FROM TESTIMONIALS. 

ReT. B G. Marsh: "A true gentleman and lirst class teacher." 
Montgomery, Mcx: "A teacher of superior tact and talent." Edi- 
tor Davie Times: "No more worthy teacher in the Sfate." Editor 
Salisbury Herald: "One of the most faithful and successful teachers 
I have ever known." Dr. VV. H. Bobbitt, N. C. Conference. "A 
man of force and individuality of ch-iracter." Hon. F. M. Simmons, 
ex-Member of Congress: "A ripe scholar, aud a gentleman of high 
culture and attainments." Hon. J. F. Payne, State Senator* "Has 
traveled extensively in the United States aud Europe." Prof, W II 
Pegram, Trinity College, N. C 1 : "A gentleman and scholar." The 
late Dr. Burkhead, N. C. Conference: "Of pleasant address aud 
personal magnetism." Rev. W. C. Norman, N. C. Conference: "A 
gentleman of character a ,d culture — an enthusiastic and thorough 
teacher, a magne.ic aud popular man." Prof N. C. English, of 
Trinily College: "A man of unblemished character; of distinguish- 
ed abilities, learning and scholarship." Hon. B. P. Long, Solicitor in 
the eighth Judicial District: "A teacher of large experience and 
marked success." The late Dr. Robey. N. C. Conference: "He has 
the power of awakeivng and keeping alive in the student an intense in 
terest in his work." W. P. Byuum. Att'y, Greensboro, N. C: "A 
man of of splendid social and moral bearing, and a scholar of high 
attainments." Rev. N. M. Journey, N. C Conference: "Very pop- 
ular at all times with the student"." Col. Alspaugh, President 
Board of Trustees. Trinity College, N. C." "A man of spotlesss char- 
acter and tireless energy, a faithful and succeisful teacher." Hon. 
J. M. Leech, ex-Meinber of Congress: "His methods are modern." 
B, C. Beckwith. Aetorney-at-law, Raleigh, N. C: "As an instruc- 
tor, he justly sustains an enviable reputation." Dr. J. B. liobbitt, 
N. C. Conference: "He has qualified himself for his work, by dili- 
gent study, longexnerience, and by extensive travel in this Country 
and in Europe." Hon. L. S. Overman. Attorney-at-Law, Salisbury, 
N. C: "As a teacher, I believe he has no superior." Jon, Jas. T. 
Legrand, State Senator, Rockingham, JsT. C.: "A live, active, and an 
euergetic teacher." R. B. Kerner, Attorney-at-Law, Winston, N. 
C: "Noteworthily distinguished in his profession." Prof. E. C. 
Branson. Graded Schools, Athens, Ga 



RAMBLES. 



Extracts from testimonials. 

Raleigh Christian Advocate: Rev. P. L. Groome's Rambles is 
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The Rev. R. L. Abernethy, D. D.: I have read your book 
and I hesitate not to say that many preachers, young and old, 
would be better qualified to preach the story of the cross by 
reading it. It is worthy of a place in Mettrdistic literature. 
President Moody, Guilford College N. C: I have enjoyed the 
reading of the book much. 

Beautiful gold back and side, stamped, postpaid by mail $1.00 
paper covers ti'icts. Send to P. L. Groome, 

Farmi.igton, N. C. 



Date Due 


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$t*4£A 44>r3<yr /fsV> 


To, / 


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Form 335. 45M 8-37. 



Duke University Libraries 



D00788077. 



287. 6 G869H 318316 



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